Topstitching is seen on bags, jeans, jackets, home dec projects and accessories.
When stitched right it gives added dimension and, in the case of jeans gives that store-bought quality to the finished garment. It’s a stitch that is designed to be seen (and complimented on). It can also serve to hold facings in place and give an firmer quality to hems. Find out how to topstitch for perfect lines, every time.
Achieve tip-top topstitching with these 10 master tips:
- Don’t backstitch to lock topstitching. Pull the top thread to the wrong side and tie the tails together to give the right side a clean finish.
- Any thread that’s appropriate to constructing the project is appropriate for topstitching. For heavyweight fabric, consider topstitching thread, which is intended to create a more raised effect. For lightweight fabrics, silk or embroidery thread may be appropriate.
- Choose the needle that will deliver the sharpest, most even stitching. Consider a microfiber or sharp needle, or if using topstitching or other heavyweight thread, use a topstitching needle. Use a twin needle for more dramatic impact.
- Choose a presser foot that allows for easy visualization and if possible helps to guide the fabric. Blind-hem feet, edgestitching feet, zipper feet and feet with adjustable or multiple guides are all good choices.
- Check the tension. Test on a fabric scrap to make sure there is no puckering or skipped stitches.
- Increase the stitch length slightly. This usually looks better, but play around with length to find the one that looks best on the fabric.
- When topstitching around a corner, mark the pivot beforehand to ensure the topstitching distance remains consistent around the turn.
- Topstitching can be any distance from an edge, fold or seam, but most falls into the 1/4” to 3/8” range.
- Stitch slowly and carefully to maintain even, straight stitches.
- For best results, always test-stitch and practice before beginning on the final project.
For more about how to topstitch like a master, check out “Masterclass: The Art of Topstitching” in the April/May 2018 issue of Sew News.
Don’t miss out! Find more great projects and ideas in our newest issue, available on newsstands and at shopsewitall.com!